The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D.: Reflecting on My Clerkship Experience: Internal Medicine
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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Reflecting on My Clerkship Experience: Internal Medicine

From the AAMC Careers in Medicine Clinical Evaluation 

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1. Name and Location of Clinical Rotation: 

Inpatient Medicine at the Veterans' Hospital (1 Month) and at Wishard Hospital (1 month).

2. What did I like most about this specialty? 

I felt like on this rotation, more than ever before, my suggestions for taking care of my patients were taken into consideration. For example, if I mentioned a test, the team might order it. Or if I suggested a steroid/antibiotic regimen, my patient might really get it. This could be directly related to the fact that I knew more and felt more comfortable to suggest things, but it was cool none-the-less.

3. What did I like least about this specialty?

Sometimes I felt overwhelmed by all there was to do and know when you are practicing inpatient medicine. Our patients were all really sick, and although quite a few pulled through and went home, we couldn't actually cure them. Also, you didn't get to follow up with those patients to see how they would  do long term.

4. Did this clinical rotation give me a good sense of what practice in this specialty would be like? 

I think it gave me a good idea of inpatient medicine, but I did not get any insight into the outpatient experience.

5. Did my interests, values, skills and/or personality "fit" with this specialty? If yes, in what way did they "fit"? If no, why might they not be compatible? 

No, I don't think so. I think that I really want to be involved in the long term health maintenance of my patients. For example, if someone came in whose diabetes or hypertension was uncontrolled, we could get it controlled while they were on the wards, but when we send them back home, things could go south again quickly if the patient does not have good follow up. I think this is why I enjoy preventative medicine so much, I want to stop my patients from needing to go to the hospital.

6. What are the possible practice settings for specialists in this field? Which of these settings interest me and do I know enough about them? 

In the hospital (Hospitalist) or in a community office setting

7. What information do I still need to find out about this specialty? 

None. I think I spent more than enough time checking it out :-) 

8. Has my perception of this specialty changed based on my clinical rotation experience? 

I think that my time on this rotation was really helpful in seeing that although being a Hospitalist may sound appealing schedule-wise, I want more of a long term relationship with my patients.

9. Did my clinical rotation experience influence the likelihood of choosing a career in this specialty? If yes, how did it influence me? 

I think it helped me to see that medicine may not be a good fit for me.

10. Right now, on a scale of 1-10, how interested am I in this specialty as a career option? 3

11. Other comments or reflections about this rotation or specialty: 

A lot of my patients were older (65+) men. Although I feel more than comfortable and capable working with all patient populations, I think that this rotation helped me see that I would miss not seeing women and the kiddos too. 
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